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« Split the difference on the S. China Sea disputes! Impossible! Only businesspeople are so naive! | Main | In Washington giving annual school kickoff speech at ICAF »
1:44PM

Morsi will continue to surprise

Reader Comments (12)

Great stuff. Do you have link to the source?

September 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPatrick O'Connor

Wow, if the Iranians are feeling that froggy (no offense to the French), then they should be welcomed to try. I am sure the Syrians will welcome them as liberators, ha! Ask Bush about that and his effort in Iraq.

September 5, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterlarrydunbar

No one is surprised by this. Of course the Ikhwan always has and still hates Khamenei and Assad. Has anyone forgotten what papa Assad did to the Ikwan (Muslim Brotherhood) in Hama 1982?

Morsi was itching to do this and he has.

Much more important is whether Morse will try to sideline Erdogan as leader in of the global Sunni bloc. I think Morse will focus on working with the world's 1 billion Sunnis, the Free Syrian Army, Turkey and NATO to eliminate Assad in the short run. Then work with the same coalition to cut Hezbollah down to size in Lebanon. And then cut off the head of the twelver snake, Khamenei.

After that, all bets are off as Morsi will try to rally the OIC behind himself.

For Morsi's strategy to work, he needs to facilitate rapid economic growth in Egypt. He will try to improve relations with America, Asia, Brazil and Europe to achieve maximize Egyptian GDP growth.

September 5, 2012 | Unregistered Commenteranan

Click on image for link.

I was being sarcastic on "surprise." Friedman column when he announced trip was over the top: How dare Morsi contradict Friedman! Later, Friedman writes that Morsi "surprised" him, which is convenient way of saying Friedman totally got it wrong but cannot admit it.

Washington and the national security community are chock full of people who say AQ is virtually MB and MB is virtually AKP. It's all stupid nonsense, of course.

Show me a pan-anything out of power and he's got a big mouth and violent tendencies. But once in power? I show you a nationalist.

So no, anan, no surprise.

Ten years from know we'll hail the Arab Spring as huge success, and Egypt's re-emergence under the MB will be the main driver of that perception.

September 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTom Barnett

"Wow, if the Iranians are feeling that froggy (no offense to the French), then they should be welcomed to try. I am sure the Syrians will welcome them as liberators, ha! Ask Bush about that and his effort in Iraq.

September 5, 2012 | larrydunbar


Referenced from: http://thomaspmbarnett.com/globlogization/2012/9/5/morsi-will-continue-to-surprise.html#ixzz25iL5rZ9u"

Some points:

1. The Iranian IRGC Kuds are already fighting in Syria against the FSA. They are already trying to "liberate" Syria.
2. Iran substantially backed the Iraqi resistance against Saddam 1979-2003. Iran was deeply involved in the 28 year Iraqi civil war 1980-2008. Initially in 2003 and 2004 there was a lot of gratitude and good will for Iran among Iraqis for Iran's large role in liberating Iraq from Saddam Hussein in 2003. For example in 2003 over a hundred thousand trained and equipped Iraqi resistance fighters entered and occupied liberated Iraq. Almost all of these had substantial Iranian support, logistics, money, trainers and/or advisors.

According to wikileaks many thousands of IRGC Kuds force operated in Iraq during the 2003-2008 period. In many cases the IRGC Kuds force supported militias that supported the Government of Iraq. In other cased the IRGC supported anti GoI militias. In all cases the official Iranian position was that the Iraqi Governing Council from July, 2003 onward and the later Governments of Iraq were the sole fully legitimate sovereign Iraqi governments. Iran officially treated the Iraqi Government as God's best gift to man.

A massive contrast with the obscene insults directed at the Iraqi government by the "peace movement" in America and Europe. A movement that in my opinion that included too many foaming at the mouth anti-Iraqi racists.

3. America also had a lot of goodwill inside Iraq in 2003 and 2004. Both Iran and America squandered Iraqi goodwill through incompetence.

September 6, 2012 | Unregistered Commenteranan

"Washington and the national security community are chock full of people who say AQ is virtually MB and MB is virtually AKP. It's all stupid nonsense, of course."

I didn't know this, and I really hope you are exaggerating. Isn't Turkey one of America's closest, most important and most loyal allies? Isn't Turkey one of the few countries that is still publicly talking about sending more troops to Afghanistan, criticizing the timeline for withdrawal from Afghanistan, and insisting that they have no time table for withdrawal from Afghanistan?

Isn't Turkey playing a large positive role in the global and European financial crisis?

Didn't Turkey play a valuable role in Libya? Isn't Turkey offering to play a leading role in Syria if they are sure that NATO has their back? Isn't Turkey playing an important role in protecting global sea lanes?

Isn't Turkey one of the most pro business, most free market, most deregulated and lowest taxed developed countries in the world? One of the fastest growing economies in the world that truly believes in free trade, free investment and free cross border product development?

I could e-mail you offline some of my experiences in Washington if you want. I was deeply shocked and amazed by the ignorance I encountered. Even from the relatively best informed people in government and the journalistic community.

But my observation is that the Turkish military and AKP are respected within the State Department, Treasury, Federal Reserve and DoD. If this is wrong, then God save us all.

"Show me a pan-anything out of power and he's got a big mouth and violent tendencies. But once in power? I show you a nationalist."

In most countries, yes. For example, yes in Tunisia, Libya, Iraq. And probably yes after Assad falls. 100% yes in the post Khamenei Iran. Yes in Afghanistan.

But Salafi extremism is stronger than any of us would like in Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. We should work with Morsi and help Egypt economically. We should all pray for Morsi to succeed. But be aware that parts of the Ikhwan could be qualitatively different from the truly progressive AKP, Malaysian/Indian/Indian muslim leaders, Azerbaijan, Albania, Tunisia etc. Ikhwan is not Al Qaeda, but there are Salafi extremists within the diverse coalition she represents.

"Ten years from know we'll hail the Arab Spring as huge success"
I agree completely. This would be true even if Egypt does not turn out well. Success in Tunisia, Libya, Morocco, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, Iran, Dubai, Bahrain, is more than good enough.

"Egypt's re-emergence under the MB will be the main driver of that perception." I hope you are right. It is too soon to tell. The good news in Egypt is that if the Ikhwan introduces economic reforms and the next election is free and fair, Egypt will be on track regardless of whether the Ikhwan purges Salafis from the ranks.

We should all be wary of divine deity legislation Morsi is trying to pass. This legislation is in my view overtly anti Shiite, anti Sufi, anti minority muslim, anti Christian and anti secular. The type of thing Erdogan (who I have deeply respected for a decade) would never dream of doing. For that matter the kind of think even an Allawite like Assad wouldn't dream of doing.

September 6, 2012 | Unregistered Commenteranan

A telling insight into the outrage was the swapping of Syria with Bahrain in some translations into Farsi When Morsi comes out for the Shia of Bahrain......that would be the end of the dark ages.

September 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJavaid Akhtar

"When Morsi comes out for the Shia of Bahrain......that would be the end of the dark ages."

As if that would ever happen.

September 7, 2012 | Unregistered Commenteranan

It is too early to say in which direction Egypt under Muslimbrotherhood president Morsi will go.I want to quote Juan Cole´s website against the frenetic Western applause for Morsi´s Syria statement:

"The participation of Muhammad Morsi, the Egyptian president in the conference was an important development in itself. Although the western media mainly focused on the parts of Morsi’s statement criticizing the Syrian regime and highlighted the differences between Egypt and Iran on this issue, reading the whole text of Morsi’s speech indicates that on most other issues, the two countries had more or less similar positions. One should not, therefore, read too much into their differences over Syria. Morsi is the first Egyptian president to visit Iran since 1979 Islamic revolution. This visit took place despite the known sensitivities of both the U.S. and Israeli governments."

http://www.juancole.com/2012/09/what-cable-news-didnt-tell-you-the-non-aligned-movement-meeting-strengthened-irans-hand-vs-us-israel-azad.html#comments

Morsi could also be the new representative of an Chinese- Russian-Iranian-Syrian (Muslimbrotherhood)-Egyptian axis against Israel and the USA.Interesting detail: To prevent this Qatar has declared according to the Russian newsagency RIANovosti that it wants to invest 18 billions dollars in Egypt.
http://de.rian.ru/business/20120906/264376842.html

The West should also have a plan B and C if Morsi doesn#t come up to its expectations.Just to shout "Kill Assad" is no strategic thinking.

September 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRalf Ostner

Ralf Ostner wrote:
""The participation of Muhammad Morsi, the Egyptian president in the conference was an important development in itself. Although the western media mainly focused on the parts of Morsi’s statement criticizing the Syrian regime and highlighted the differences between Egypt and Iran on this issue, reading the whole text of Morsi’s speech indicates that on most other issues, the two countries had more or less similar positions. One should not, therefore, read too much into their differences over Syria. Morsi is the first Egyptian president to visit Iran since 1979 Islamic revolution. This visit took place despite the known sensitivities of both the U.S. and Israeli governments.""

I want to start by saying that I have interacted with Cole many times and he has been right on other issues. But this comment is inaccurate. Morsi is the most overtly sectarian anti Shiite leader in modern Egyptian history. Many of this Arabic speeches are littered with anti minority muslim innuendos. They aren't even subtle like other anti minority muslim bigots.

Morsi's had to go to Iran because an outright confrontation between Egypt and Iran is bad for Egypt's economy. But make no mistake, he and the Vilayat-e Faqih touting Khamenei are enemies.

Khamenei and Khomeini for the first time in over a thousand years have touted the idea that they are perfected divinely ordained beings that have the sole right to tell every Shiite and muslim in the world how to behave in all secular, religious and spiritual matters. In Shiite doctrine, only the first 12 Imams ever claimed that right before [7th to 9th centuries AD]. This is blasphemy of the highest order to most Shiites (Iraqi, Indian, Pakistani, Afghan, Turkish, Azerbaijani Shiites for example), let alone the Salafi leaning sectarian parts of the Muslim Brotherhood (Ikhwan.)

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

"Morsi could also be the new representative of an Chinese- Russian-Iranian-Syrian (Muslimbrotherhood)-Egyptian axis against Israel and the USA.Interesting detail: To prevent this Qatar has declared according to the Russian newsagency RIANovosti that it wants to invest 18 billions dollars in Egypt.
http://de.rian.ru/business/20120906/264376842.html"

Morsi 100% should seek closer relations with China and Russia (and America, Europe, Asia, Brazil) to improve the Egyptian economy. I hope he does that. Better relations between Egypt and China are strongly in America's and Europe's interest. The more pro business Egypt becomes, the more pro Chinese and pro American Egypt becomes. We all have a symbiotic relationship. The peaceful economic rise of China is a force for global goods and improves the US economy.

When the earth turns into sky, then check to see if Morsi and Khamenei become friends.

The real reason why the Gulf wants to invest in Egypt is to increase their own influence over Egypt and to keep Egypt closely aligned to themselves. A democratic populist authentically sunni islamist free market Morsi could unseat all the dictators in the GCC. This is why we should all hope that Morse becomes that leader.

"The West should also have a plan B and C if Morsi doesn#t come up to its expectations.Just to shout "Kill Assad" is no strategic thinking."

America needs to stop thinking in term of the "West" . The free world must come up with a plan B and plan C for Egypt and the Ikhwan going bad. Agreed. This means Europe, America, Asia and Brazil. Together. The danger with Morsi is that he might evolve into a sectarian Salafist leader, not that he would make friends with his enemy Khamenei.

September 7, 2012 | Unregistered Commenteranan

To Annan:

To draw conclusions about our future strategy in the face of the awakening of the Arab spring we have to analyze the common points and the differences between these countries. We have to make clear if we see the main driver in this political event as political, religious, social or as a typical combination of these factors in each country.The pattern of all these Arab revolutions seems to be: A liberal, secular group of dissatisfied intellectuals and unemployed or underpaid academic youth which communicate mostly via the internet as starting point of the rebellion. Then union and secular political organization come in. After this mostly the Muslimbrotherhood became from a side-watching to an active factor which organized parts of the petty bourgeoisie,social underdogs, the poor and religious intellectuals and also conservative women.If we look at all this Sunni-dominated states, it becomes obvious that the Muslimbrotherhood will become the key player or a dominant factor which only can be moderated by its internal faction fights or the organization of a secualar front. The next important factor is the relation of the military and the security apparatus of the former regime with the key drivers these this political revolutions. And the next key factor is the international environment in which this revolution develops, means: interference by foreign powers.

Sunni-Shia conflict or Panislamism or realpolitik with Islamic values?

Many Western observers think that there will be a Sunni-Shia conflict. They think that the religious factor is dominant. However, one has to keep in mind that Shia-controlled Iran was giving support to the Sunni-Hamas and that Sunni-Morsi despite of his comments on Syria pointed out that in all other political questions there is a prevailing panialsmic agenda with Shia-Iran. Therefore the question is: Will there be a future conflict between Sunnites and Shias as the dominant factor or will there be a panislamic agenda which unites Iran, Muslimbrotherhood-Syria and Egypt?Is this future scene driven more by religious attitudes whether it will be conflict or cooperation or will the so called religious forces act like national players—like Richellieu in France acted for the raison d´etat—in the national interest. Will we get a Sunni-Shia conflict or a Sunni-Shia-panislamic cooperation or is every state acting according to its own national interest—means- “realpolitik with Islamic values” as the.German secret service calls it. A question will be if Turkey, Iran and Egypt want to become in competition the dominant power in the Islamic world.Or if they will cooperate on some issues while competing on other issues. I think the later option is more likely.However, we also have to discuss the other possibilities.
I don´t believe that Morsi is just anti-Shia.The problem is more complex!!!

September 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRalf Ostner

To Annan:

"Morsi is the most overtly sectarian anti Shiite leader in modern Egyptian history. Many of this Arabic speeches are littered with anti minority muslim innuendos. They aren't even subtle like other anti minority muslim bigots."

Don´t forget: The West and the Islamic fighters in Afghanistan--once our beloved friends, then our enemy. I never heard of Morsi proclaiming a anti-Shia-agenda--mostly it was against the Copts.Morsi said that theocratic Iran isn´t the role model for Egypt, but this is because the Muslimbrotherhood has no Khomeini or Khameini as leader and their leaders are mostly lawyers, ophysicans, engineers and other academnics with Islamic values.This doesn´t mean that the Muslimbrotherhood doesn´t want an Islamic state. But Morsi also didn´t say that Egypt should become a new AKP-Turkey. When Erdogan was in Egypt and welcomed by the Muslimbrotherhood , they censored his speech when he was speaking about the seperation of state and religion. The same happened with Morsi´s comment on Syria in Iran.Howver: Nobody would draw the conclusion that Morsi is anti-Turkey, as we shouldn´t draw the conclusion that Morsi is anti-Shia and therefore anti-Iran.That´s very simple minded.It´s too early to say where the road is heading to, but we should make our plan B and C!!!

September 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRalf Ostner

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